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YSU freezes spending, cuts budgets, lays off 9

Published: Fri, September 27, 2013 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Denise Dick



The biggest part of cuts to address Youngstown State University’s $6.6 million deficit comes from a freeze in discretionary spending.

It’s supposed to save about $2.9 million, according to a plan the university released Thursday.

“Three consecutive years of enrollment declines, combined with consistent reductions in state operating appropriations, has resulted in a significant structural budget deficit that requires us to immediately implement cost savings measures,” YSU President Randy J. Dunn said.

“These measures, while extensive, will allow us to balance our budget without impacting academic and student services.”

YSU has lost $16 million in revenue due to decreased enrollment and state allocations over the past two fiscal years. This fiscal year, tuition/enrollment revenue and state funding are down an additional $4.2 million.

“We have reached a critical crossroads,” Dunn said in a news release. “These actions, developed through an extensive, six-week contingency planning process, are necessary to balance the fiscal year 2014 budget and to begin to address the structural challenges we have in the university’s revenue-and-spending model.”

Another $1.4 million in savings is to come from operating-budget reductions across campus, ranging from office supplies and printing to postage and maintenance costs.

A reduction in technology expenditures by deferring or delaying infrastructure updates is expected to save $750,000. Personnel reductions, including the layoffs of five full-time and four part-time non-faculty employees will save $663,000.

Ron Cole, university spokesman, declined to say from which departments the employees would be laid off.

“We’re in the process of going through the wording that’s spelled out to identify and notify the bargaining units and the individuals,” he said.

That’s being done in the next few days.

Employees across campus will be asked to voluntarily take nonpaid furlough days or to voluntarily give up vacation days to save $230,000; and $150,000 will be saved through decreased energy use across campus, including a possible power-down over holiday week in December.

YSU also hopes to generate about $315,000 through spring enrollment.

Although there’s usually a dip between fall and spring semester, Cole said the university is hoping for less of a change than what’s generally seen. Another $300,000 in additional revenue expected from campus auxiliaries — departments such as housing, the campus bookstore and Kilcawley Center that generate their own revenue — which will contribute a larger percentage of their revenue to the general fund.

Dunn said the reduction plan was developed to have a minimal impact on academic programs, student services and personnel. He said layoffs in the plan are unfortunate and difficult but needed to reduce expenses and maintain the fiscal health of YSU.

“We are a human capital enterprise and human resources are the most important ones we have,” he said. “I understand the personal financial difficulties that are felt by employees impacted by these actions.”

Dunn also said that, despite the fiscal challenges, YSU remains a vibrant and progressive educational institution.

“Students — the reason we are all here — will feel very little, if any, impact whatsoever by these actions,” he said.

“YSU will continue to provide the high quality educational services that are so vital to our students’ success.”


1NoBS(2761 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

9 more jobs lost from the Valley.

Thanks, Kasich.

And I disagree with Dunn's notion that students aren't affected by these non-faculty layoffs. The campus already looks like a slum, because there's nobody left to pick up litter, keep things trimmed, patch and repair sidewalks and driveways, and all the other things that make a campus look like someone has a little pride in it. The supporting roles the "non-faculty" people perform is already stretched to the point of inefficiency - losing 9 more jobs will only make that worse.

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2Westsider(269 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Early retirement is expensive to the institution because it has to pay for the years being granted for early retirement. I know this is tough in a heavily Democratic town but we cannot blame Kasich. All institutions need to live within a budget - and the state does not have the luxury afforded to the federal government of going year to year without a balanced budget. There is no new money - just reallocated money.

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3djechm(5 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

There were 75 administrators on campus when the university was at top enrollment at almost 16,000. Just a few years later when we are in an enrollment "decline" - there are 125 administrators on campus. Why do we never start at the top? And yes, the search for a new position of Enrollment Manager is still on.

I have to say I put the blame on the previous administration for letting this get out of hand and continuing to place "friends" in positions before she retired. And no word as to how Athletics will be affected - my guess is they will not.

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4TERRAPINST(320 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Gdog gotta question. Define working man. I mean if a guy goes to school, educates himself and possesses a degree and then goes to a well- paying job because he has made himself marketable-is he a working man? OR do you have to be in a union and blue collar to be defined as being a working man? Just curious. I mean everyone who has a job is pretty much a working man right?

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5willinnyny(118 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Why not shut down YSU completely?

Just think of the money that would be saved then!

And all of the students could transfer to Harvard, Yale or Princeton.

Ridculous, right?

If YSU really wants to save money, it should focus on education and its degree programs --- and save lots of money by cutting out football and all the other sports.

YSU does not exist to have sports teams.

Or does it?

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6oswald1755(3 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

The state certified with full police powers YSU Police who patrol the campus property as well as up to 1 mile in all directions off campus are the reason why there are students there period. If you relied on YPD, who already has enough to do, the place would get over run.

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7Dagwood(484 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Start laying off the "ROBO" professors.

What is a ROBO prof?

These are the professors that pass you for showing up. They cancel class frequently and utilize the summary quiz at the end of chapters for testing. There are way too many at YSU. The students all know who they are and flock to them. Do we really need 200 kids in an Astronomy class 6 days a week, year round? Last time I checked YSU isn't churning out many Astronauts.

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8djechm(5 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

I'd like to see the list of administrative positions "created" in the past 3 years-maybe the cuts need to start there. There were some pretty quick placements on campus between Feb-June of this year.

YSU PD are state certified police officers like any other city. They also are a student's first call if needed. As a student, I was in a hit and run accident at night about a mile from campus on the north side - I called YPD and waited for 20 minutes before I called again and waited another 10. I called YSUPD and told them I was a student (and a little freaked out because it was night) and they were there in 3 minutes - YPD never came.

PS: Astronomy is a lab science - one of the required General Ed Requirements....and last I checked an Astronomy class wasn't a fast track to NASA. Cutting class offerings is no way to make money.

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9seektruth(1 comment)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

A slum? The YSU campus is one of the many gems of downtown Youngstown. Perhaps you aren't aware that over the past decade budgetary restrictions have significantly reduced the number of facility maintenance and grounds personnel. There are many dedicated, talented people who care deeply for the appearance of the YSU campus. Unfortunately, there simply aren't enough of them to cover the growth of infrastructure the university has experienced over the past decade.

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10southsidedave(5189 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

a real shame what has happened to education in this country...

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11Attis(1129 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

The war without end in Afghanistan costs us about $300 million per day and consumed well over 2000 American lives since its start. Mission accomplished? Think maybe it's time to stop this enormous fiscal and physical hemorrhaging; save lives; educate minds; and wipe out the YSU defict (as well as that of every other institution of higher education in the USA)?

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12maeby12(9 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

At what point does YSU's foundation kick in a few million or 6.6? Where are the big time donors? Even better, just cut the budget across the board. Over spending caused the deficit. Now it's time to pay. Finding 6 million by cutting spending for everyone wouldn't hurt any one area too much at all. I'm not sure I even believe this, truth be told. I've heard this song before.....Oh yes, I remember now. Same song every few years. These guys are just posturing for union negotiations. Oh sure they'll ruin some lives to make it all seem real. No sweat off their backs. Every few years they trot out, wiping their tear-stained eyes in front of the cameras, crying poor. Two months later they build a new building, or an arena, a fancy house. That money comes from somewhere, probably debt, and those payments are probably large. Bad money management is going to ruin YSU, but in the meantime it's making some people, like the bad managers, stinking filthy rich. Oh poor is me...

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13peej1984(9 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Funny how people always say, get rid of sports!!! Yeah that's the answer!!! Most people don't have a clue as to the amount of revenue sports bring to a college. Its about time people realize sports is not the root of all evil spending at YSU. Sports usually pay for themselves or come close to it. Why do you think some students choose curtain schools? For sports!!! Not all of them but a bunch do. Sports, no matter what, football, basketball, softball, baseball, volleyball and many others attract great kids to YSU. Give the place a break and let them get the school back on track without this mush of comments that really don't help.

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